Saturday, 04 December 2010
I have to say, I’m rather pleased with the trend in the romantic comedy genre right now. Most (not all) in recent years have been bearable, sometimes actually quite enjoyable (see: The Proposal). Last weekend I was dragged to Love and Other Drugs, staring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. The trailers promised a cryfest of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back, and to be perfectly honest that’s exactly what it was, but in this case it wasn’t a bad thing.
See, there is a difference between clichés and conventions. One can succeed in a genre if they avoid the former and tweak the latter into something we haven’t seen before. Right off the bat Love And Other Drugs sets itself apart from other romantic comedies by telling you that Maggie Murdock (Hathaway) has Parkinson’s disease, which is rare in someone her age. This ups the stakes and actually makes everything the characters go through mean something.
Sure it goes through the motions a bit sometimes. There is the obligatory best friend of the guy who brings the comic relief, and there is that feeling of almost jaded expectation as you feel the two lovers approaching the “break-up point”. Where Love and Other Drugs succeeds is about making the film as much about the disease as it is about the couple.
As expected there were plenty of sniffles in the theater at times, and that is to be expected, not everything in this movie is happy. But there is one scene in particular were a Maggie cannot get a refill of her medication and so self medicates with a bottle of Vodka. It’s upsetting on level that goes beyond the “Aww, he loves her.”
And that’s another thing, Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) does love Maggie and unlike the almost complete lack of chemistry with his co-star in Prince of Persia, I actually believed it this time.
So if you’re a guy and your girl wants to see a chick flick, well, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this one. And if you’re a girl and you want to drag your man to a chick-flick, take pity on him and make it one he can actually enjoy.
Oh and both of the stars are naked A LOT. Literally you see Anne Hathaway topless probably twelve times. And that ain’t half bad either.
What did you think of Love and Other Drugs?